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Taiwan’s Pork-barrel Politics and an Unwanted Road

Taiwanese environmentalists are nearing the crunch in their fight to stop a government plan to build an 85-kilometre expressway through some of the island’s last pristine territory. It will cost a who...
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End of the Line for Taiwan’s Political Star?

It was a scenario devoutly to be hoped for come Taiwan’s March 2008 presidential election ‑  Kuomintang candidate Ma Ying-jeou winning comfortably and taking office as a savvy, cosmopolita...
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Asia’s Communications System Begins to Return to Normal

As the New Year dawns, Asia’s telecommunications and cable companies appear finally to be making progress in returning the region’s communications structure to normal in the wake of the December 26 earthquake that damaged undersea cables on the s...
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Taiwan’s Golden Boy Could be History

If anybody ought to benefit from the indictment of Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian’s wife’s slush funds scandal, it should be Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou, who as the main opposition candid...
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Taiwan’s Two Steps Forward, One Back Democracy

In a Taipei convenience store, five female students are buying crisps and Coca-Cola. Who is paying, one asks. Giggling, three reply with one voice: “special state funds, of course”. The joke is ...
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Of mangoes and mistresses

Lin Bing-huang looked glumly down the street outside the Ocean Hotel he owns in downtown Hualien. “From Monday to Friday I have few guests. We could fill the hotel with more mainlanders – but they steal the cups, towels and pillowcases and...
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Taiwan’s Golden Boy Stumbles

With tens of thousands of protesters at the gates of the presidential palace this week to demand a recall of Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian, Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou, the opposition Kuomintang Party&rsquo...
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Divest or Die

In the late 1920s and early 1930s, the Ministry of Education of the Republic of China twice held competitions for the words to a new national anthem, to replace the Kuomintang (KMT) party song used since 1928. ...
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Goodbye, Mr. Chen?

You know a politician is in trouble when he goes public with the news that his wife thought of divorcing him recently in hopes of getting some sympathy—and the tactic backfires. Taiwan’s President Chen Shui-bian is in a hole, and he just ...